Thanks to a dual credit program at her high school, Casey Hahney, of Hammond, was able to transfer her credits and enroll at Ivy Tech Community College Northwest.
Dual credit is designed for high school juniors and seniors, enabling them to earn college credits while fulfilling high school requirements.
Educators say dual credit may not mean that students will finish college in less than four years but it may reduce the number of students finishing in six years.
Local colleges and universities recently reported six-year graduation rates in 2008 well below 50 percent, also less than the national average of 55.9 percent.
Not every high school graduate will go on to college. But for those who do, a basic high school diploma may not give them the preparation they need. Dual credit classes range from English to anatomy or engineering. It saves times and money, and gives students a leg up, helping to prepare them for a successful college career.